Monday April 16, 2012
Get Organized and Be More Effective on LinkedIn
Successful communications on LinkedIn can come down to this three-part process.
- Create a LinkedIn Checklist
- Create a Communications Calendar
- Schedule Your Communications
LinkedIn Expert Advice:
Create a LinkedIn Checklist of Daily Updates and Posts
The first thing you are going to want to do is create a checklist for your daily communications. You can use any number of tools that come with your computer, or make your own checklist.
A simple, easy and popular checklist tool you might use for your PC is RTM (Remember The Milk) http://www.rememberthemilk.com/ This is one of the most popular checklists around because it is intuitive and easy to use.
A simple and easy tool for a Mac is 2Do: http://itunes.apple.com/app/2do-tasks-done-in-style/id303656546?mt=8 I like 2Do because it easily integrates with your calendar (Saving you a few steps)
Both applications have smartphone apps that will also sync with your calendars.
Things you might put in your checklist are:
- Posting daily status update about a client
- Posting daily status update about your industry
- Posting daily status update about your product or service
- Posting daily status update about an upcoming event
- Contribution to a group discussion (Group A, B and C)
- Posting a question in your group
- Posting a question in a group you are a member of
- Answering a question with an old blog post
- Asking a question to spark engagement
- Responding to mentions in status updates
- Posting a Company page status update – general
- Posting a Company page status update – specific
- Sending a private message to a specific “tagged” group of connections
(Of course there are many other functions you can add to your checklist in regards to your LinkedIn presence, but this post is focused on communications.)
Why create a checklist? It ensures that you get all your tasks done, and frees your brain to be more creative, and less focused on “Did I remember to do???” Also writing, and then checking off your tasks gives you a sense of accomplishment. Also, if makes it easier to delegate work, and maybe even go on a vacation if you have a checklist of tasks that need to be done (in this case updates and posts that need to be written) ready to hand over to someone.
Put Your Checklist on a Calendar!
The second thing you want to do is calendar your checklist so it actually gets done. As mentioned above, at least these two tools can automatically schedule your calendar. You might need to go in and add details (like which client you are highlighting, what group you are posting to and what “tagged” connections you are sending a message to.) For some people, writing “Update congrats to HBC” will work, other people might want to even write the post and then calendar it.
If you are able to delegate some of your social media posting, then more detail is usually better.
Lisa Buyer recently wrote a great article on why you should create a social media calendar as well as sharing some useful templates and links: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2136988/How-to-Create-a-Social-Media-Editorial-Calendar (Your required reading for Tuesday’s #LinkedInChat)
She lists the benefits of having a calendar as:
- Accountability: Put it in writing where everyone can see it, touch it and live it.
- Commitment: Stamp a date on it, chances are, you will get it done.
- Accomplishment: Checking it off the list feels so good and ties back to accountability.
- Planning: Big picture first, start at the year, month, week and day.
- Creativity: Mapping out the topics first will help free up space for creativity and inspiration. (So true!!!)
- Trends: Tie in the topics with keyword research and boost the SEO strategy.
- Measurement: Watching the results in growth and also what is popular in content via tools such as Google Analytics will give you valuable information for future editorial ideas.
I know it might take a bit more time to calendar your updates, but the pay off can be immense. Whenever I follow my own advice, all my numbers go up - including my bank account. A few more minutes, strategic thinking and organization really can get you some exponentially positive results.
Schedule Your Posts for a Later Date
Once you have created your checklist and scheduled it on a calendar, then use a scheduler to post updates! (Right now you can only schedule your status updates to LinkedIn, but I’m sure eventually some of these tools will allow for posting into groups, answers and messages as well.) Why schedule? So it gets done! Have you ever realized ten minutes before a presentation that you forgot to let people know you were even giving one? Or is it just me?
A few scheduling tools I like are Hootsuite and BufferApp. Now you have probably heard about, and might already be using Hootsuite. It's a good tool and I recommend it. Especially the paid version. But a relatively new tool to the scheduling arena is BufferApp. I like it because it as an easy plugin I can use right from my browser (and Twitter) and it allows you to very easily schedule multiple updates to LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook a week at a time – from one page. None of this cutting and pasting and backing and forthing!
I like this tool so much in fact that I have invited BufferApp co-founder Leonhard Widrich (I know – he totally sounds like a Harry Potter character, right?) to tell us more about Buffer App on our #LinkedInChat Tuesday April 17th at 5 PM PST!
Leo describes Buffer App: “Buffer is a smarter way to share your Social Media updates. All you have to do is add new Tweets, Facebook posts or LinkedIn updates to your queue and they will be automatically posted for you at a better time, well spaced out over the day (or weeks). You can add new updates to your Buffer from any website through browser extensions, mobile phone or iPad.
Since we are going to be picking Leo’s brain, you might want to know more about him!
Leo Widrich is the Co-Founder of Buffer, a smarter way to share Tweets, Facebook posts and LinkedIn updates. He loves to connect with the Buffer community day and night. He also blogs more Social Media and Productivity tips at http://blog.bufferapp.com. Say hi on Twitter at @LeoWid, Leo is a very nice guy.
LinkedInChat by Viveka von Rosen
Questions we’ll be asking Leo on the #LinkedInChat:
Q1. How can Buffer help you with a better LinkedIn/ Social Media presence?
Q2. Is there an issue with too much automation on Social Media?
Q3. What are the results from Buffer regarding clicks, Klout score and engagement in general?
Q4. Which other tools can be used together with Buffer?
Q5. What other questions do you have for Leo?
The #LinkedInChat is held every Tuesday night at 5 PM PST, 8 PM EST. I like using http://tweetchat.com/room/linkedinchat (You have to be on Twitter in order to join the chat). So if you want to know more about BufferApp, this article or LinkedIn in general, please come and participate! If you want me to add your questions to the chat, just post them in "Comments" below. Here is our Group on Linkedin http://t.co/cpIEI6y6 so you can continue the conversation!
For a Transcript and Stats about tonight's chat please check out Hashtracking after the LinkedInChat at: http://beta.hashtracking.com/ht-pro-rpt/cjeffers-linkedinchat-2012-04-17/
Here's the list of resources we talked about in tonight's chat:
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